Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Emperical formula

  1. Dec 7, 2004 #1
    lab question
    When would finding an empirical formula be useful in the real world?
    kinda a stupid question...i have no idea how empirical formula would be useful in real life :grumpy:
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2004 #2
    Finding the empirical formula would be extremely helpful in an identifiying an unknown compound. If you had the empirical formula, you have half the battle because all you know what elements the compound is composed of and the relatve amounts of each. If you know the molecular weight(which is actually quite easy to find) and the empirical formula then you know the molecular formula. In simple cases, there will be only one possible structure for a given molecular formula. In other cases there will be many possible structures, which means you need other methods - you cover this when you take organic chemistry, which done in the second year of college.
  4. Dec 8, 2004 #3
    thanks alot! that was very helpful :biggrin: :tongue2:
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook